To Kindle or Not to Kindle?


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My Kindle is broken.  Not repairable.  Forever gone.

I really loved my Kindle.  I loved shopping for books by reading the customer reviews.  (I especially liked when I trusted myself more than the reviewers and bought a book anyway.)   I loved swapping e-books with my mom via our shared Amazon account.  Oh, and I loved the ability to purchase a book right there on the spot. I was never without a book. (My husband probably didn’t love this feature so much.  The kind folks at Amazon sure did.) I loved the leather cover I splurged on to make it feel more book-y.  And with the click of a button, I could share my recent reads with my Facebook friends, which led to more discussions about good books.  Yeah, I really loved my Kindle.

When my dearest Kindle hit the garbage can, I found myself on Amazon, ready to order a replacement.  My finger hovered over the mouse, ready to hit ‘purchase’…. and then I suddenly became wistful.

I do miss the weight of a book in my hands.   I miss dog-earing a page after I’ve stayed up reading far too late into the night and then setting the book on the end table, only to catch sight of its cover first thing in the morning and think I can’t wait to get back to that book.  

And even though I can share Kindle books with my mom so easily, I do miss the physical hand-off of a real book.  “Here, I finished this.  It’s really good,” my mom would say as she pulled her latest read out of her purse.  “What’s it about?” I would ask, and then unable to resist, I would have to pick up the book right away, read the back cover, thumb through the pages, read the first page, inhale it’s bookly scent.  The book would typically travel from my mom, to me, to a friend, back to me, to my sister, to our cousin, to her friend…. I miss that.

Mostly,though, what I miss is wandering aimlessly through libraries and book stores.  Knowing I was ready for my next good read, but not knowing what it might be.  Looking for interesting covers, familiar authors, quirky titles.  Picking up books, putting them down.  Meandering through Best-Sellers and Young Adult, taking a detour into Cooking.  Carrying around handfuls of books, knowing I could only purchase a few.  Sure, it doesn’t have the convenience of Amazon’s one-click buying, but, man, it was rewarding.  I miss that.

So.  Here I sit.  Indecisive and temporarily book-less.


12 thoughts on “To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

  1. I have the same dilemma. My Kindle screen is gone. I have a love for reading books and from my Kindle. I especially like the Kindle when I wake at night. The lighting helps me tremendously. I am always had a book going on each, so I think I may break and get a new one.

  2. I have a Kindle and I love it. Like you, I miss the feel of the book and going to book stores or the library….but I like being able to buy a book when I want it…I like not having stacks of books collect and then take them to the used book store. Maybe it is because we have downsized our home and there is just not enough space…or maybe it is because my husband has hundreds of book he can not part with….whatever…I would get the Kindle. Jackie

  3. While I love my Kindle, I also love picking up and book and passing it on when I’m done. So I do a little of both – read on my Kindle and then go browse in the book store or library. A dilemma indeed!

  4. I say go for paper over screen. All your descriptions of a book are right on. I also am drawn just by the covers, love the smell of new paper, enjoy enscribing or writing my thoughts in the margins (or wherever there’s room). There’s something classic, traditonal, real about holding a book. Good luck in your decision 🙂

  5. Oh I hear you. I purchased a Kindle just last year and while it’s convenient, it most certainly doesn’t carry that nostalgic, “bookly,” scent. I say just hold off. Indulge yourself on a few real deals. The Kindles aren’t going anywhere. There will probably be an even more advanced, savy model by the time you cave in. Go swim through some pages for a while.

  6. I am sorry for your loss, Dana…..I have a Kindle, and love it, and love the convenience….but there is still something about the look, feel, and smell of a real book……it’s tough….would like to talk about this more some time:-)

  7. I must be so fickle. I said goodbye to the real book so long ago and I haven’t looked back but I did love it, really! And the book store… I understand your dilemma even if I’m not there.

  8. Dana, my aunt is a reader. Like a real reader. The kind that never goes without a book, always knows the latest titles and acts like famous authors were at her dinner table last night conversing about their latest publication. She too struggles with the “book-y ness” of a book. I’m not afraid of just reading from my kindle but I do understand your argument. Plus I love seeing what you have been reading on facebook. Well because you read a lot right? Isn’t that an important part of your job description? 🙂

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